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SLIDING INTO MARRIED LIFE

Friday, 26 April 2019 / Published in Blog thoughts / 674 views

By Devaki Devi Dasi

In many ISKCON communities around the world, devotees often enter married
life without accepting good guidance and advice. Many ISKCON marriages are
formed in the kitchen – almost by chance, while cutting up the vegetables.
When two people find each other without the help of a senior, very easily
they may simply attract each other on the platform of unfulfilled needs. He
has unfulfilled needs and she has unfulfilled needs, and therefore they
attract each other like magnets. But this kind of attraction wears off
rather quickly, and it does not give a deep and solid enough foundation for
a marriage in Krsna consciousness. Unfortunately, so often, after a couple
of years, the two involved may separate again and thus inflict so much
suffering and pain to everyone involved.

Srila Prabhupada explains this in the purport to SB, 3.21.27: “The selection
of a good husband for a good girl was always entrusted to the parents. Here
it is clearly stated that Manu and his wife were coming to see Kardama Muni
to offer their daughter because the daughter was well qualified and the
parents were searching out a similarly qualified man. This is the duty of
parents. Girls are never thrown into the public street to search out their
husband, for when girls are grown up and are searching after a boy, they
forget to consider whether the boy they select is actually suitable for
them. Out of the urge of sex desire, a girl may accept anyone, but if the
husband is chosen by the parents, they can consider who is to be selected
and who is not. According to the Vedic system, therefore, the girl is given
over to a suitable boy by the parents; she is never allowed to select her
own husband independently.”

Of course, these principles are not only there for the girl, but also for
the boy: unless receiving the guidance and advice of seniors, he may also
accept an unsuitable girl as a wife – out of the urge of sex desire.

Recently, the realization struck me that such training, how to enter family
life, should be compulsory for all ashram residence in our communities
around the world – especially the brahmacaris. How many times have I
observed a brahmacari become victim of a lady’s desperate search for a
husband?! And thus the saffron butter melts! The brahmacaris don’t receive
training how to enter grhastha life – of course not, since brahmacaris are
not meant to hear such things! And thus they slide into married life without
education and preparation – not according to Krishna’s recommendations.

Of course, we can’t blame the ladies for acting as the fire which melts the
butter. As we know, the desire to be married comes along with the female
nature and often manifests already in early childhood – just to make sure
she receives the protection she is meant to get. It is according to
Krishna’s Divine arrangements. Therefore, she is meant to be protected by
the parents (or senior devotees) who help arrange a suitable husband for
her.

In a letter to Naiskarmi – Bhaktivedanta Manor 28 July, 1973, Srila
Prabhupada explains this in all details:

“In Vedic society no girl was allowed to remain independent and unmarried.
Independence for women means they become like prostitutes, struggling to
capture some man who will take care of her. In this way the so called
independent woman has to work very hard to make herself attractive by
artificially wearing cosmetics – mini skirts and so many other things.
Formerly the girl would be married to a suitable boy at a very early age,
say six years old. But although a girl was married early she did not stay
with her husband immediately, but was gradually trained in so many ways how
to cook, clean and serve her husband in so many ways – up until the time of
her puberty. So all the time there was no anxiety because a girl would know
– I have got a husband, and the boy would know I have got this girl as my
wife. Therefore when the boy and girl would come of age there was no chance
of illicit sex-life. And the pychology is the first boy that a girl accepts
in marriage, that girl will completely give her heart to, and this
attachment on the girls side for her husband becomes more and more strong,
thus if a girls gets a good husband – one who has accepted a bona fide
spiritual master and is firmly fixed up in his service, automatically the
wife of such a good husband inherits all the benefits of his spiritual
advancement. So you are fortunate. Go on in this present attitude, serve you
husband always and in this way your life will be perfect, and together
husband and wife go back home – Back to Godhead.”

Very often, brahmacaris don’t receive the required guidance when it is the
right point in time to enter married life. It is also not in the interest of
a manager. Every manager likes to see as many brahmacaris in his temple as
possible, so therefore he does not like to “disturb” them with this topic.
As a result, brahmacaris sometimes get married when they are 45 or even
older – not an ideal age to start family life. Furthermore, the chance to
move on to the Vanaprastha ashram is already missed. And too often, they
slide into an unsuitable marriage arrangement which complicates life
further. Unfortunately, the change of ashram may even involve an actual
fall-down – certainly not an auspicious way of entering family life!

I am praying for the day, when we can make this shift into the grhastha
ashram in a cultured way – according to Krishna’s recommendations. Then we
will have more hope for stable and emotionally healthy families. It requires
systematic training and education – already during brahmacari life.

When it became difficult to call Krishna’s name
Draupadi’s pot
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